Love, Heartbreak

9 Signs You're Waaay Too Controlling In Your Relationship

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9 Ways To Tell If You're Waaay Too Controlling In Your Relationship

It took me a long time to realize that when I came home from work, I need to soften up and eschew the mask that works so well in the work place. I struggle with this all the time and try to smooth out the type-A, go-getter side of my personality before I come anywhere near my fiancé.

At work, it's common for me to bark orders, generally be in charge, and make sure that everything is getting done. Not surprisingly, this works horribly once I get home.

Once I realized this was a huge problem for me, and it's hurting my relationships badly, I started noticing how common it is for motivated, career-oriented women to have problems gaining and maintaining romantic relationships with strong, worthy, men. They seem to have everything going for them in the workplace, but when they go home, something is missing. Sometimes, they show signs of controlling behavior that cuase their partner to flee.

RELATED: 5 Signs He's Seriously Controlling You — And You Don't Even Know It

If you set aside a successful career's obvious time demands as a variable and focus on the woman's attitude in their home life, it becomes glaringly obvious that the same traits that are beneficial at work — leading, being the boss, setting clear expectations and generally running things — aren't as effective at home.

Bosses are rewarded for just that: being bosses. This is great for the work place. The problem is that what works at home — a cooperative stance, compromise, receiving help and picking battles — aren't exactly prized in the office.

The women I know who are the most effective bosses often have trouble with their love relationships. They always say things like, "Well, I told him what I wanted, what he ought to do, and he doesn't come through for me. I feel like I have to do everything, or it won't get done," or, "He just doesn't help me enough."

I'm automatically suspicious of these statements. I start to wonder if it's really true that nothing gets done and the man isn't trying to help somehow. Does nothing that needs to get done actually get done? Or, was it done, but not exactly the way she wants?

Is her micro-managing really setting up a feedback loop where she nags, he pulls away, she nags more, he tries to help but whatever he does isn't quite right for her? If she were to abruptly stop nagging, what would happen? In the end, she finally breaks down and does the task herself "the right way," proving that she is the perpetrator in this controlling relationship.

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Resentment and tension build between the couple. This communication breakdown serves to inadvertently cement her attitude that she isn't getting the help she desperately needs, which weighs the relationship down even further.

The man starts to feel like a child being nagged to do his homework. He withdraws and begins to feel like his efforts to make her happy are completely in vain. This leads men to say things like, "No matter what I do, she's never happy." This is the kiss of death!

I'd be willing to bet that it becomes frustrating when one person has more clear time frames and expectations about what should happen, and when. This goes double for women who work long hours and want to come home to a particular environment after work.

If his time frame for doing something for her (like completing chores for example) deviates from hers, she often starts wondering if she's being heard, so she repeats herself. Over time, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because of his withdrawal.

Here are some questions to help you determine if you're too controlling in your relationship:

  1. Do you dislike accepting help and relying upon others? Do you expect them to fail at doing something the right way?
  2. Do you have a lot of rules and expectations for your partner?
  3. Do you find yourself giving others lots of suggestions, unsolicited advice, and what you believe to be constructive criticism?
  4. If there is a bad situation, are you the first to take over and order other people around?
  5. Do you insist on being right, having the final word, or making sure things are done your way?
  6. Do you "over-plan" simple activities?
  7. Are you a back seat driver?
  8. Do you become uncomfortable when your personal environment is not how it should be?
  9. How do you feel when someone makes you late or things don't go according to plan?

All of these are things to consider. If you've actually been told you have controlling behavior by your partner, this is another red flag. This might be true in the heat of the moment, or something they said in anger, but there might be a kernel of truth in there.

RELATED: Beware! If Your Man Does These 15 Things, He's Majorly Insecure

Elizabeth Stone is an author, relationship coach, and founder of Attract The One. Get a free copy of her book, Why Men Lose Interest, and free daily (almost) email series.


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